Location #1: Mississipi Petrified Wood Most of the best petrified wood from Mississippi comes from trees which grew in the state during the Oligocene Epoch, around 30 million years ago. The Gulf of Mexico's shoreline extended further north at that time, which explains why the wood is found in the more northern parts of the state. This petrified wood formed when a tree was buried by sediment, and its tissues were replaced by silica in the groundwater. A variety of chalcedony, fossil wood replaced by chalcedony (silica), sometimes also by Opal. The material replacing the wood may vary. Most commonly, quartz, in the form of agate, opal, or jasper, will be the replacement material. Occasionally, limonite, carnotite (an uranium mineral), or other minerals will be the replacement material. Trace minerals included within the silica impart a variety of hues, ranging from black to blue to red. General description: How to get there: The Mississippi Petrified Forest is a privately operated park and museum located at 124 Forest Park Road, Flora, Mississippi. This site has been known since the mid-19th century, but it was not until 1966 that it was named a Registered National Natural Landmark, and subsequently developed and opened to the public Link to Petrified Forest: http://www.mspetrifiedforest.com/Attractions.cfm Handy to bring along: 1. Hand Pick 2. Rock Hammer 3. Rock Pack Helpful notes to newcomers: Tour the Petrified Forest. Wood can be collected over a large area in the ditches and stream near the park.
Location #2: Fossils of Ice Age animals General description: During the past several years Lonnie and Freida Looper of Greenville, Mississippi have collected over 500 fossil bones of Ice Age animals which lived in our loess area between 10,000 and 250,000 years ago. They were often accompanied by their son, Zachary Horne, who contributed many rare and exciting finds. These animals lived during the Rancholabrean Epoch which gets its name from the famous "Tar pits" locality in Los Angeles, California Link: http://www.backyardnature.net/loess/fossils.htm How to get there:
All of the fossils were recovered between river mile markers 499 (near the town of Glen Allen, Mississippi) and 639 (a point on a line with Sherard and Clarksdale, Mississippi 3. Helpful notes to newcomers: The family found these treasures by walking gravel bars in the Mississippi River bed during seasonal
Location #1: West Fork of Rock Creek in the Sapphire Mtn. RangeThis is a place to find natural sapphires. Many in the creek, or you can buy gravel at a mine (Gem Mtn) which is much easier on the body and the sapphires are more consistently high grade.(Local beach, park, etc)
General description: Sapphire location How to get there: Take Hwy 1 out of Butte to Hwy 38 (if you go to Phillipsburg you've missed the turn onto 38) and it will run you right into the creek. You will go past "Gem Mtn" which is a commercial sapphire site (and you can dig and screen there).Handy to bring along: .Shovel .Buckets . 1/4" mesh screens Helpful notes to newcomers: If you have a gold wheel, tilt the wheel back until it catches a sapphire, then use the wheel to catch them. You will double your take that way.
Location #2: Missouri River Sapphires
(Local beach, park, etc)General description: Seven operations mine sapphires from the Missouri River including dig for fee operations The best known is Spokane Bar. How to get there: northeast of Helena. Take York Road to Mile Marker 8, turn right on Hart Lane, turn left on Castles Road. Additional information: ttp://www.sapphiremine.com/ More information on Montana Sapphires, including maps, can be found at: Montana Sapphire Info Handy to bring along: . Screens available at the site . . Helpful notes to newcomers: he mine and rock shop is 10 miles from Helena, therefore, there are many places to stay in the area. A campground is within 3 miles of the mine.
Location #3: Scratchgravel Hills
General description: The exposure is in a low cut in massive green diopside which has cavities with euhedral crystals to about an inch long, although most are much smaller. Most of the cavities are filled with blue calcite which must be etched away to expose the diopside. How to get there: north of Helena a few miles, is a well known occurrence in a low cut alongside a railroad track. This location is on the east side of the Scratchgravel Hills. Access is by going north out of Helena on Green Meadow Drive to the road to the Scratchgravel landfill, parking at the railroad tracks and walking up the railroad tracks. Handy to bring along: .rock hammer .cheisel .rock bag . safety equipment - glasses, gloves Helpful notes to newcomers: or more information on Montana skarns:http://www.lrream.com/montanaskarns.html
Location #4: Garnets
General description:Garnet is a historic mining ghost town located in west central Montana and sits at an elevation of about 6,000 feet at the head of First Chance Creek. It was named after the brown garnet rock which was used as an abrasive and a semi-precious stone found in the area. How to get there:The Garnet Ghost Town from the west, take I-90 east to Exit 109, the Bonner Exit. Continue on Highway 200 east for 23 miles. Shortly after the 22 mile marker turn south at the sign Garnet Ghost Town. The parking lot is 11 miles up the gravel road. Ask at the visitors center about garnet collecting. contact info
/goldwest.visitmt.com/listings/908.htm 3. Helpful notes to newcomers: in winter Garnet is a popular snowmobile and cross-country ski trip. Winter cabin rentals are available.
Location #1: Northwest Panhandle -Cadron. Nebraska General description: Fairburn, Prairie, and Nebraska Blue Agates can be found. The Nebraska Blue Agate is the State Gemstone. The nodules appear to be more plentiful than in South Dakota. (Roger Cark).I have collected in Nebraska and found a wide variety of agates. The Nebraska Blue is a truely beautiful stone. How to get there: Travel Northwest of Chadron on HWY 385. The Oglala National Grasslands allows rockhounding for personal use. Neither vertebrate fossils or Native American artifacts are allowed to be collected. It is a crime and rightly so to violate Native American sacred sites. Ask Permission before collecting on private property and as always respect the land, keep it as wildly beautiful as it is. The following link provides information on the area: http://www.chadron.com/ handy to bring along: 1.Rock bag 2.Water - this is very remote country 3.GPS 4. Boots 5. Rock Hammer Helpful notes to newcomers: Do not strike a nodule of agate with your hammer to see what's in it. A rock worth hundreds of dollars could be ruined.
Location #2: Crawford General description: North west of town on the White River drainage system. The agate is similar to Tee Pee Canyon Agate (see South Dakota) in that it has a high degree of matrix material. How to get there: Crawford Nebraska is in northwest corner of Nebraska in the Black Hills region on HWY 20. This link contains helpful information about the area.http://www.crawfordnebraska.net/ Grade this location: (A to F): A
Handy to bring along: 1.Rock bag or buckets 2.Water 3.Boots or hiking shoes 4. Rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers:
Location #3: Agate Fossils Beds National Monument
General description: A unique national park that combines scenic beauty with the fascination of a prehistoric world. During the Miocene era the plains were populated with a wide diversity of unusual wildlife. Agate Fossils Beds National Monuments is one of the best places in America to see what it was like by viewing the fossil record. How to get there: The National Monument is south of Harrison on HWY 29.View the Nation Monument web site: http://www.nps.gov/agfo/ Handy to bring along: 1. camera 2. comfortable shoes
Location #4: Homestead Cookshack & Bunkhouse General description: Hunt your own fossils in style with real western flair and at a reasonable price. The fossil sites are on private ranches that allow collecting through Homestead. The food is excellent and the lodging is first class. How to get there: Homestead The following web site gives directions and information :http://www.bbc.net/highplainshomestead/index.htm Handy to bring along: 1. Buckets or backpack 2. Tools for Digging 3. Call ahead for details Helpful notes to newcomers: I have included a link from the University of Nebraska for the hobbyist on the importance of the scientific value of fossils and how to properly collect them. The amateur collector can contribute to the advancement of knowledge. One of my most valuable finds, I donated to the University of North Alabama for future geologist to learn from and the general public to enjoy. After discovering the site , I called the University and set up a field trip. The site was some of the best Silurian fossils recovered in Tennessee. http://www-museum.unl.edu/research/vertpaleo/musnote2.html
Location #5: Ashfall Fossil Beds State Park General description: Nebraska is fossil country and if you hike the country side you are bound to run into a fossil. However, Ashfall Fossil Beds is not a museum where bones have been collected from far and wide and reassembled in a unnatural poise. These animals were covered with volcanic ash and left in place to give the visitor an amazing look at a prehistoric catechism. How to get there: The park is west of Creighton Nebraska on HWY 59. The following web site gives information about your visit : http://ashfall.unl.edu/ Handy to bring along:
1. Camera 3. Helpful notes to newcomers: The facility is handicapped assessable.
Location #6: Cass County Nebraska General Description: Lake Superior Agates in Nebraska? Yes, the period of glaciation brought Lake Superior agates to a number of states. Dr. Roger Pabian at the University of Nebraska has a nice collection of Lakers found in local gravel deposits around Nebraska. Dr. Pabian's book on Banded Agate is a must read for people crazy about agates. He is one of the most recognized scientist on agate formation. How to get there: Cass County is just south of Omaha. Take I 80 then exit HWY 50. I have included a list of gravel operations in the area: http://maps.unomaha.edu/Maher/urbanseminar/Bill/ Handy to bring along: 1. Hand tools 2. Bucket 3. Keene eye site Helpful notes to newcomers: Most gravel operations will allow you to look through the gravel piles. Ask permission at the office. Explain that you are a collector and that you will observe their rules.
Location #1: Garnet Hill Recreation Area General description: The garnets found at this site are dark maroon to black that average in size from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch in size. The specimens are in cavities called vugs and occasionally an attractive 1 inch specimen can be found. The stones are generally not of gem quality but make very nice collector specimens. The garnets are a mixture of spessartine and almandine Garnet. How to get there: 4 miles Northwest of Central Ely in the Eagan mountain range. The major access road to this area joins US Highway 50 about 6.4 miles West of the traffic signal at US 395 and US 50 junction in Ely. The following link gives information on the site and where to stay: http://nevada-outback-gems.com/Rockhound/Nevada_garnet_Ely.htm Handy to bring along: 1. Hammers and chisels 2. Safety glasses 3. Gloves 4. Rock bag Helpful notes to newcomers: The site is a Nationally known rockhound site managed by the Bureau of Land Management. There is limited camping and RV hook-ups. There are a number of garnet location within 100 miles of Ely. The following link is the BLM web site and gives information on Garnet Hill. http://www.webpanda.com/white_pine_county/historical_society/attractions/garnet.htm
Location #2: The Royal Peacock Opal Mine general description: Virgin Valley has yielded the world's most beautiful black opal since mining began in 1905. Much of the opal is formed from tree limb casts of an ancient forest that covered Nevada some twenty million years ago. How to get there: Virgin Valley of Northern Nevada: The following link provides information on site: http://www.royalpeacock.com/index.html Handy to bring along: 1. Short handled ick, shovel, or garden rake 2 Long Screw driver,ice pick or similar tools 3. Small bucket-like container,ZipLoc Bags 4. Gloves ,Hat, Sunblock
5. Water squirt bottle Helpful notes to newcomers: RV hookups, camper and tent sites are available plus shower,restroom and a laundry room. more Information on visiting the Virgin Valley Opal area can be found at: Virgin Valley Opal area Info
Location #3: Otteson Turquoise Mine
General description: An operating turquoise mine visited by the crew of "Cash & Treasures". Mine tours are available for group of 10 and more. The tour includes an opportunity to mine the tailings piles. How to get there:The following website gives information on booking you tour:http://tonopahturquoise.homestead.com/3.html Another good website with information on this area is: Bunker Hill Turquoise Mine, oyston Handy to bring along: 1.Tools & bucket provided 2.Sunscreen 3.Hat & gloves Helpful notes to newcomers:The tours are about four hours long. Two weeks in advance booking is required.
Location #4: Big Springs General description: A world of obsidian and Apache tears free for the taking near the opal mines of Virgin Valley. How to get there: Take A34 at the intersection of 140. This is about 8 miles north west of Virgin Valley and 12 miles from the Oregon state line. About 3 miles from the intersection is a large field of obsidian and Apache tears. Handy to bring along: 1. Safety glasses 2. Gloves 3. Buckets 4. Rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers: Obsidian is Volcanic glass and therefore can be very sharp. When struck with a hammer, it sends off splinters of glass. Obsidian can make very attractive cabochons. Polish with tin oxide on a felt wheel.
Location #5: Oak Springs Summit Trilobite Area General description: Six different species of triobites are found in a gravel quarry. The fossils are 530 million year old deposit of Cambrain age marine life The trilobites are located in a trench on the south side of the pit.. How to get there: "Located 12 miles west of Caliente on US highway 93 on the south side of Oak Springs Summit, a dirt road to the north will take you to a gravel pit. The fossils are located at the west end of the pit on the east slope of a knob." Bureau of Land Management Handy to bring along: 1. Buckets 2. Hand tools 3. Helpful notes to newcomers: There is a BLM sign in roster at the parking lot and pamphlets explaining the history and the tribites.
Location #6: Hallelujah Mining and Exploration Company General Description: Well known collecting site for smokey quartz, amethyst crystals including scepters. Many of the points can be quite longup to 10 inches. How to get there: The sit is a mining claim operated by: Jon Johnson at 702-786-3271 or Ed Christiansen 702-677-1722. For organizing a field trip contact Jon or Ed. handy to bring along: 1. Buckets 2. Hand pick 3. Rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers:
Location #7: West of Rye Patch Placer Mines General description: How to get there: Go north on Highway 80, past Lovelock to the Rye Patch exit. Go west, over the dam, outside the recreation area and head north for about 4 miles. Turn west and head up into the placer gold area. Grade this location: A+ - This site has produced some valuable gold nuggets, and still produces gold for those who are willing to work hard. GPS coordinates: W 118.41856 N 40.62040 Handy to bring along: 1. A good metal detector 2. All the food and equipment you need - there are no supplies or stores.
3. Digging tools Helpful notes to newcomers: Information and maps of the gold producing area can be found at the following website:
Rye Patch Gold Information
Location #1: Chickering Mine General description:Mine is located in Walpole. Massive blue and green tourmalines can be found on quartzite matrix. Blades of albite cystystals and small pinkish spodumenes can be found. Childrenite and other micro minerals have been found here. How to get there: handy to bring anlong bring along: 1.Digging materials 2.sledge hammer and hand pick 3.safety gear and hand lense Helpful notes to newcomers:There is a lot of tourmaline to be found here.
Location #2:Palermo No.1 Mine general description:Mineral collectors who enjoy collecting phosphates and beryl will like this location. At the Palermo Mine, rare phosphates can be found. Small cystals of apatite and fluorapatite can also be found here. Gemmy, blue aquamarine beryls have been found here. How to get there: Some rock and mineral clubs in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire will host trips to this location.
Handy to bring along: 1.Hammers and hand pick 2.chisels and shovel 3.safety gear and handheld lense Helpful notes to newcomers: Dump digging materials would be usefull at this location
Location #1: Sunset Beach at the southernmost tip of New Jersey.
(Local beach, park, etc)General description: How to get there: Go to New Jersey, and then go south on the New Jersey Parkway. Keep going until there's nothing but the Atlantic Ocean in front of you! Handy to bring along: 1. Small and medium sized containers and kiddy beach toys - shovels and buckets with holes to wash the diamonds. Use the small containers to put the diamonds in as you stroll on the beach. Then when they're full, take them back and put them into the larger buckets. 2. 3. Helpful notes to newcomers: If you continue talking down the beach (away from Cape May), you might want to be conscious of how the folks are dressed further down the beach. The lower area is a 'free beach' where bathing suits are optional. But no matter, there are plenty of 'diamonds' before you get close to this area.
Location #2: Sterling Hill Mining Museum &
The Franklin Mineral Museum General description: Over 300 different minerals were found in the mines of Franklin and Sterling Hill. Sixty new minerals were described at these sites. Not only are the museums first class but mineral collecting is available for a small fee.The following site gives examples of the types of minerals found in the mines:http://www.galleries.com/minerals/fablocal/franklin.htm How to get there: Franklin and the Sterling Hill Mine are at Ogdensburg, Sussex County New Jersey The links provides directions and information about the mines: http://sterlinghillminingmuseum.org/ http://www.franklinmineralmuseum.com/ Handy to bring along: 1.UV light 2.Hand tools 3.Bucket 4.Gloves . Helpful notes to newcomers: The mining district is on the itinerary of mineral collectors and serious rockhounds everywhere. The florescence minerals are amazing under UV light.
this place i have been to above and it is really good you can go throw rocks and some are furcesentent and others are cool to look at. also they have a tour in the mine and you can get a free furcentent rock on the tour and you can buy stuff in the gift shop
Location #1: Rockhound State Park
General description: Rugged slopes of the Florida and Little Florida Mountains are home to Rockhound State Park. Hiking trails offer views of nearby "sky islands." Agates and quartz crystals can be found at the park. http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/prd/Rockhound.htm How to get there: To get to Rockhound State Park from Deming, take NM 11 south for 5 miles, and then go east on NM 141 for about 9 miles.
Handy to bring along:1. Rock Hammer . Chisel . Collecting Bucket . Shovel Helpful notes to newcomers: acilities Activities Visitor Center camping Group Shelter Picnicking Developed Sites (29) Wildlife Viewing Electric Sites Hiking RV Dump Station Interpretive Exhibits
#2: Kelly Mine
General description: World class Smithsonite specimens can be collected from tons of stockpiled ore. How to get there:
Take I-25 South from Albuquerque to Socorro. Then HWY 60 west 26 miles. Turn at Kelly Road and go 3.2 miles South.
Handy to bring along:1. Collecting bucket . Hand tools . Rock hammer Helpful notes to newcomers: or more information: ttp://www.mmmgems.com/kelly_mine/index.htm
Location #3: Casitas de Gila Guesthouse acres of private lands with lots of interesting rocks and gemstones right on the property. Minerals found are white and pink chalcedony, chalcedony roses, red, brown and yellow jasper, jasper breccia, picture jasper, banded agate, zeolites, geodes, massive hematite, banded rhyolite, andesite, volcanic bombs, scoria, limonite and hematite-banded welded tuff, and lots of really nice colorful rocks! How to get there:
CASITAS DE GILA GUESTHOUSES becky & Michael O'Connor, Owners 50 Casita Flats Road (Off Hooker Loop) P.O. Box 325 • Gila, New Mexico 88038 • USA Tel: 575-535-4455 • Fax 575-535-4456 Handy to bring along: 1. Collecting bag 2. Rock hammer 3. Hand tools Helpful notes to newcomers: Grant County, with its county seat in Silver City, lies at the heart of this vast mineralized area and is New Mexico’s richest mineral producing county.
Location #4: The Blanchard Rock Shop General description:The "local" collecting area is located here in the world famous Hansonburg Mining District, which is also known as the Blanchard Claims. This district is considered one of the "richest" when it comes to the variety of mineral species it produces, which is over 80 different ones; including Fluorite, Barite, Galena, Quartz and Smoky Quartz. How to get there: ighway 380, about 1 hour and 45 minutes south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in Socorro County. It is halfway between San Antonio and Carrizozo at mile marker 30 on U.S. Highway 380, in the "town" of Bingham, New Mexico. For more information: http://www.peaktopeak.com/blanchard/ Helpful notes to newcomers:We do recommend that you call a few days prior to coming out to make sure that we are open and that the roads to the mining claim are passable. Also, if you need RV hook-ups, we can provide them.
#5: KILBOURNE HOLE General description:Kilbourne Hole is one of several volcanic maars located in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. Volcanic maars are unusual volcanic features, and Kilbourne is probably the best example to be seen anywhere in the world. With a lot of work and effort gem grade peridot can be collected. http://www.mtlilygems.com/mineinfo/KHinfo.html How to get there: From El Paso Texas take TX 178 West the road will become New Mexico 136 continue 6.4 miles and turn right on Columbus Road/ NM-9. Drive 16.2 miles and turn right on CR-008 until you reach CR-AO11 and turn right and continue 3.7 miles. Handy to bring along: 1.Water 2.Rock hammer 3. Collecting bucket Helpful notes to newcomers: Collecting conditions at Kilbourne Hole can be extreme with intense summer heat in excess of 100°F and freezing temperature in winter. Spring time, March in particular, can be very windy with violent dust storms.
Location #1: Lincoln, Missouri - Mozarkite General Description: Mozarkite is a pastel colored chert with swirls, blossoms, and bands. The color varies from pink,yellow, blue, and sometimes green. In 1967 the Missouri Legislature proclaimed Mazarkite the state gemstone. How to get there: The chert is found in streams, ditches, fields, and road cuts around a wide area around Lincoln, Missouri. The area extends along the Cotter Dolomite Formation of Ordovician age. The word is a combination of Mo for Missouri, Ozark for the region and ite for rock. Lincoln is south of Sedalie on HWY 65. I have also found Mozarkite at Harry Truman lake west of Lincoln. http://www.dnr.mo.gov./pubs/pub653.pdf
http://www.mazarkite.com Rate this site: (A to F) A Plenty of good material Handy to bring along: 1. Rock Hammer 2. Safety Glasses 3. Pick or Maul Helpful notes to newcomers: Permission must be granted from the land owner. I have found all I wanted in ditches, road cuts and along the lake.
Location #2: Everett J. Ritchie Mineral Museum General description: The best museum to study an extensive collection of Tri-State minerals from the mines of Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Galena, calcite,sphalerite, dolomite and chalcoprite crystals are truly impressive. How to get there: The museum is at Schifferdecker Park in Joplin Missouri. The complex is at the corner of 7th street and Schifferdecker Drive. If you desire to collect some samples, drive north on Schifferdecker Park to W Perkins and turn right. There are tailing dumps from the mining operations on your left. Calcite , dolomite , galena, and sphalerite specimens can be found. Grade this location: (A to F): A for the museum C+ for the mine tailing piles. GPS coordinates: http://www.joplinmuseum.org/info.htm Handy to bring along: 1.camera 2.Hand tools 3.Rock Hammer 4. Safety Glasses - the host rock is chert (flint) and can be extremely sharp especially with fresh breaks. Flint has a conical fractures and used by flint nappers to create Native American tools. Some Mozarkite that is free of fractures makes incredible arrowheads, spear points and other tools. 5. Gloves Helpful notes to newcomers: The museum is one of the finest collections of the Tri-State Mining district. It is known for the size and beauty of the crystal habitat of the minerals. There is a scale model of the Lead and Zinc mines and the extraction process. Be careful when handling sharp edged chert. It is best not to hit the chert with a hammer. A friend of mine went to the hospital to have a flint shard removed from his hand from holding a nodule in his hand and hitting the flint with a hammer. Bad Idea
Location #3: Elephant Rocks State Park General description: Giant Boulders of pink granite resemble huge elephants marching in a circus area. A nature hike circles through 1.6 billion year old pre-Cambrian formations How to get there: htp://www.mostateparks.com/elephantrock/geninfo.htm Handy to bring along: .Camera 2.Hiking shoes . Helpful notes to newcomers: colecting is illegal in the park. However, there is an operating quarry at the backside of the park. Ask at the office to gather some pieces from the scrape piles. The pink granite is cut for monuments and building stone, The scape has been sawed and is quite attractive.
Location #4: Potosi, Old Mine, Cadet, Missouri
General description: Missouri lace agate, drusy quartz, and barite blades Missouri Lace agate resembles Mexican Lace agate with tight banding, swirls, and grays, blues, and some red colors. How to get there: Potosi is in south east Missiouri. The area around Potosi contains a number a abandoned mine pits. Go east from Potosi on HWY 8 and turn on CR O. Tailing piles are on both the right on left sides of the road. Do not cross no trespassing signs. Handy to bring along: .Hammer .Rock bag or 5 gallon bucket .Hang tools Helpful notes to newcomers: The drusy can be quite large specimens (2 square feet) with bitroydal formations. Very little digging is necessary. The mine waste piles are extensive.
Location #5: Keokuk Geodes General description: The Warsaw formation of Iowa, Illinois, and northeast Missouri has yielding immense amounts of geodes with as many as 30 different minerals. The most common minerals are quartz and calcite. How to get there: . The streams and rivers around St Franceville and Fox Missouri have exposed geodes. The well know Betty Sheffler's Rock Shop and Mine is being closed due to highway cnstruction http://www.ruralmissouri.org/02pages/Feb02geodes.html http://www.geodegallery.com/keokuk.html Handy to bring along: .Shovel 2.Hand tools. Helpful notes to newcomers: Do not break the Geodes with a hammer. Many a valuable stone has been destroyed by an over zealous rockhound.
Location #1: Middleville N.Y. Rt.28 (the herkimer diamond mine and the ace of diamonds mine) for a fee you can prospect and keep all you find. The mines also have tool rental ,rock shop and snacks. Handy to bring along: 1.water 2.gloves and hat 3.first aid
Location #2: Barton Garnet Mine
General description: Mining operations began in 1878 in one of largest garnet mines in the world. Garnet is the New York gemstone and garnets can easily be found at this site. Gore mountain is known for producing very large garnets industrial, some a foot in diameter or larger. How to get there:From I 87 take Exit 23 to Route 9 through Warrensburg. Left on Route 28 for Approximately 21 miles to the old North River General Store (now a rafting company). Left on paved Barton Mines Road for 5 miles to Garnet Mine http://www.garnetminetours.com/shop.html Grade this location: (A to F): A Geology of Gore Moutain: http://www.science.smith.edu/departments
SEM/pages/Erica/SEM.html Handy to bring along: 1. Hat 2. Collecting bag 3. Small hand tool Helpful notes to newcomers: The mine is handicapped accessible. There are a number of other activities for the family.
Location #3: Powers Farm General description: The Powers farm has been a source of black uvite tourmaline for over one hundred years. How to get there:
Take HWY 68 east from canton New York. Powers farm is at the intersection of HWY 68 and county road 24.
Grade this location: (A to F): A Handy to bring along: 1. Shovel 2. Pick 3. Rock bag or bucket Helpful notes to newcomers: Permission must be obtained to collect at this site. Examples of the specimens can be seen at:
Location #1: Chunky Gal Mountain
General description: Chunky Gal Mountain and Buck Creek is a must stop on a treasure hunt to North Carolina. Red and pink rubies are found in a green host rock (smaragdite). A prospector can choose to mine the matrix material or shift the dirt around the boulders. The clear cold waters of Buck Creek at the base of Chunky Gal Mountain holds bright red almandine garnets. Also there a specimens of spinel, rutile and other peridotite minerals. How to get there: The site is just off HWY 64 in Clay County between Hayesville and Franklin, North Carolina. Going east from Hayseville on HWY 64 look for old HWY 64 about a two miles past Shooting Creek. The old highway is the best landmark because it still has some asphalt paving. Turn left on a steep gravel forest road where the old and new highways meet. The site is about a mile up the mountain. Parking is available at the site. The old road parallels the new and leads to Buck Creek Road.
Grade this location: (A to F): A GPS coordinates: 35 04.792 N 083 37.656W Chunky Gal 35 05.019 N 083 36.759 W Buck Creek Garnet
Handy to bring along: 1. Shifting screens 2. Small sledge hammer 3. Pry bars 4. Gloves 5. Safety Glasses Helpful notes to newcomers: The site is in the Nantahala National Forest. In order to keep this site open; the rules of conservation must be followed. Leave the site better than you found it. Carry your trash out and be careful with fire.
location #2: Mason's Ruby and Sapphire Mine
General description: The Mason Mine is a personal favorite. There is absolutely no salting. Mason is one of the few mines that you can dig your own dirt. Last July a 40 carat pink sapphire was found. If you stay long enough you will find gems. How to get there:6961 Upper Burningtown Road Franklin, North Carolina http://www.masonsrubyandsapphiremine.com/ Handy to bring along: 1. Latex lined gloves to keep your hands warm while washing the mine run 3. Helpful notes to newcomers: There are snacks and drinks available at the mine.
Location #3: Gold regions of North Carolina
General description: North Carolina has historically produced more gold than any other state in the south east. From the early 1800s gold has been prospected and mined in North Carolina. The Reynolds mine in Montgomery County was owned by a distant ancestor of mine. How to get there: The following link is to the North Carolina Geological Survey Gold Pages. http://www.geology.enr.state.nc.us Handy to bring along: 1. Gold pan 2. Digging tools 3. Depending on your commitment much more productive equipment can be brought along Helpful notes to newcomers: Join the GPAA to find the best sites and meet people with a common interest - YELLOW GOLD!! http://www.goldfeverprospecting.com/gpaa.html
Location #4: Emerald Mines
General description: As Kirsten found out North Carolina is emerald country. North Carolina has supplied the largest and most valuable emeralds in the nation.No wonder that in 1973 the emerald was designated the state precious gemstone. How to get there: Hiddenite North Carolina is east of Taylorsville on HWY 90.Ed Speer, a North Carolina Geologist, has an excellent web site on emerald mines of North Carolina: http://www.northcarolinaemeralds.info/ One of the best mines is the Emerald Hollow Mine http://www.hiddenitegems.com/
Handy to bring along: 1. Screens 2.Tools for digging - shovel & pick 3.Gloves 4. Probe Helpful notes to newcomers: Emeralds are crystals of of the mineral beryl. You might find a rare crystal of green Hiddenite. Don't discard it Read Kristen 's report: http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/Cash_and_Treasures/ci.Emeralds.show?vgnextfmt=show
location #5: Franklin North Carolina
General description: The Gem Capital of North Carolina. It is a regular vacation spot for my family and me. There is always something new to see and do; the mountains, the rivers, the prospecting. My wife will shop till we drop at the gem shows. Some of the best gem, mineral, and fossil shows in the east are held in Franklin. How to get there: Franklin is in western North Carolina just south of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park on HWY 64.The following link gives information about Franklin including mines in the area , the museum and a calender of events. http://www.franklin-chamber.com/visitorInformation/gemMining.asp http://pakasdollmaker.com/gemmining.html
Handy to bring along: 1. Prospecting Tools - pick, shovel, rock hammer, pry bar 2. Hiking shoes 3. Safety equipment - safety glasses, first aid kit 4. Screens, pans Helpful notes to newcomers: This part of the God's creation will capture your heart. You will be back. Plan - but don't over plan your trip, let the county lead your where it will. You will find surprises at every turn.
Location #6 : Sheffield Mine
General Description: Lots of mud washing, gravel inspecting, gem finding fun for the whole family. I hope you will find some big honker rubies and sapphires. How to get there: 385 Sheffield Farms Rd. Franklin, NC 28734 http://www.sheffieldmine.com/ Handy to bring along:
1. a change of clothes 2. Helpful notes to newcomers: Ask for advise. The owners will more than willing to help identify the treasures
Location #7 : Cherokee Ruby Mine
General Description: A completely unsalted native mine in Franklin, N.C., where some of the best rubies in the region (in North America, for that matter) are to be found. The "Cherokee Chief," a huge 1070 ct. gem quality ruby, was found here in 1993. Sapphires, garnet, moonstone, rutile, and even the occasional Indian artifact (pottery and arrowheads) may be found here as well. Great place, with very friendly and helpful staff. http://www.cherokeerubymine.com/ How to get there: Click here for directions From Franklin: Business Hwy 441 North, to Hwy 28-North, located near the center of town. Follow 28N until passing Cowee Baptist Church on your right.Merge right, on Cowee Creek Road just ahead. Follow Cowee Creek Rd. until it becomes Ruby Mine Road by staying right at any fork-in the road.
Stay on Ruby Mind Rd to the mine entrance, on the left. Approximate drive time from Franklin is 25-30 minutes. handy to bring along:
1. Gloves-- not needed, but some will find them helpful 2. Lunch/Snacks 3. Cash only, so bring it to pay. Helpful notes to newcomers: The staff are really the most wonderful people in the world, and will be able to provide newbies with any help needed, and will also look through your tailings to be sure that you do not miss anything. Drinks are available for sale, and there are umbrellas for rent, but bring your lunch.
Location #8: Bearfoot Gold
Family owned and opererated recreational prospecting camp that offers a unique experience for Families regardless of your skill level or preferred method of prospecting How to get there: Http://www.bearfootgold.com Located on a historic lode mine, the possibility of
finding an old treasure from mine itself is there for everyone. The location of the old miners camp and homestead produces bottles, keys, and even some coins on occasion, including two Morgan dollars found near the mine itself. Even older treasure in the form of arrowheads is a fairly common occurence! Rockhounds will be excited to find some of the minerals that the area is known for: quartz and amethyst crystals, garnets, fluorite, and others can be found by the lucky collector. handy to bring along: 1.Gold pan , digging tools 2.unlike alot of other places They incourage dredging and high banking 3.Food,drinks and snacks Bearfoot offers primitive camping for tents and pop-ups, There is RV camping in Carthage and Days Inn in Biscoe both only 15 minutes away
Location #1: Owyhee Mountains General description: Near the top of my favorite agates is Graveyard Plume from the Owyhee mountains of eastern Oregon. The colors vary from creams to yellows, pinks and blues. The polished pieces explode with feathery plumes of delicate texture and pastel colors. The agate forms in seams in basalt and requires hard rock mining. There is plenty of agate in the area so an enthusiastic prospector should go away happy. I have a piece that weighs in excess of 75 pounds. How to get there: Just south of Homedale Idaho and just two miles into Oregon is the famous Graveyard Point site.. From Homedale drive south on HWY 95 2.7 miles to Graveyard Point Road . Turn west and travel 4.8 miles to the footbridge across the canal. The trail up the hill leads to one of two sites in the area.Do you want to see how unbeatable this agate is: http://www.erniel.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=636 Grade this location: (A to F): A Coordinates: E 1/2, NW 1/4, sec. 26, T. 3 N., R. 6 W., Owyhee County, Idaho, Graveyard Point Quadrangle, Oregon-Idaho Handy to bring along: 1.Buckets or Back pack 2.Shovel and pick 3.Rock Hammer 4. Pry bar 4. Water Helpful notes to newcomers: The entire Owyhee area has a variety of famous gemstones. If you can not find gemstones in this area you should find a new hobby.
Location #2: Spectrum Mine - featured on Cash & Treasures General description: Oregon Sunstone became the state gemstone in 1987. The gems are a plagioclase feldspar formed in basalt lava flows that cover much of southeast Oregon. The Spectrum mine in part of 40 mining claims operated by High Desert Gems & Minerals. Spectrum mine is open to the public for a daily fee. The mine was once owned by Tiffany's of New York. How to get there: The following link gives detailed directions to the mine: http://www.highdesertgemsandminerals.com/index.htm The mine is 23 miles from Plush, Oregon.
Grade this location: (A to F): GPS coordinates: Latitude: 42 25 11.84 N; Longitude: 119 54 34.25 W Handy to bring along: 1.1/4 " mesh screens 2.Hammer & chisel 3.Rock pick 4. Buckets 5. Plastic bags Helpful notes to newcomers: Primitive camping is available at the site but there are no RV hook ups. However, there are a number of camping sites and RV pull overs. Well water is available. Becky Worley found a Sunstone valued at between $5000 - $6000. Read all about it!
#3: Richardson' Rock Ranch General description: The Richardson's have a variety Thunderegg and ledge agate. The list of digging sites includes:Pony Butte, Blue Bed, Red Bed,Moss bed, Flat Bed, and Opal Bed. The different sites are from easy digging to expert digging. Even if you don't dig the rockshop is worth visiting. How to get there: Take HWY 75 North from Madras untill you come to mile post 81. You will see the Richardson sign. Follow the signs for approximately 3 miles. The following link gives the information on the site: http://richardsonrockranch.com/index.html
Grade this location: (A to F): A GPS coordinates: N 44 43.956 W 120 58.564 Handy to bring along: 1.Pick 2.Bucket 3.Rock hammer
4. Shovel Helpful notes to newcomers: The fee is based upon the weight of the material collected. The current price is $0.75 per pound.
location #4: Oregon Beaches - especially around Newport
General description: The beaches of Oregon are littered with a sampling of the amazing rocks and minerals of Oregon. Agates are the prize that most rockhounds go after; however colorful jaspers and even bloodstones are found. Since the gravels and cobbles are a mixture of Oregon rocks, keep an eye out for petrified wood and marine fossils. The best part is that it is free. For more information:
http://4facets.com/polished_AccentStones.html How to get there: Newport is at the intersection of HWY 101 and HWY 20. The Oregon coast is a treasure in and of itself. I have included links to area attractions and places to stay or eat. http://www.aquarium.org/
http://www.newportoregon.com/ http://www.visittheoregoncoast.com/ handy to bring along: 1.Bucket 2.Hand tool 3.Sun screen Helpful notes to newcomers: The Oregon waves can be impressive, so be careful when collecting near the surf. Keep an eye on the breakers especially with young children around.The smaller stones are ideal for a tumbler, however, you might find a fist size keeper.
Location #5: White Fir Spring
General description: Oregon thunderegg site courtesy of the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce. The thundereggs contain jasper or agate cores in a diamond shaped center. How to get there: drive east out of Prineville on HWY 26 to mile post 41and turn left on 3359. Drive approximately 5.5 miles until you reach the sign : Chamber of Commerce Claim. You made it to the jasper site. For the agate filled site turn right before the sign. Handy to bring along: .Small Pick .Shovel .Bucket Helpful notes to newcomers: Thundereggs have been collected for years don't expect surface float. It will require some elbow grease to recover the thundereggs,
Location #6: Glass Buttes
General description: Glass Butte is one of the best sites anywhere to collect Obsidian. Technically Obsidian is not a mineral but occurs when Basalt cools quickly forming a volcanic glass. Several types of Obsidian are found at Glass Butte including black, silver sheen, mahogany,fire etc, How to get there: ten miles southeast of Hampton on HWY 20, turn south on Obsidian Road. Follow this road until the roads tees. Your are at Glass Butte ww.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/recreation/rockhounding Handy to bring along: .Gloves .Rock Hammer
3. safety glasses Helpful notes to newcomers:obsidian can be very sharp. Be careful when handling broken shards.
Location #7: Madras - Jefferson County
General description: Several sites are in the area including: McDonald Ranch, Marston Ranch, Nartz Ranch, Friend Ranch, Ochs Ranch, and the Richardson's Recreation Ranch. The McDonald Ranch was featured on "Cash and Treasures". The sites are known for petrified wood, thundereggs, and agates. All these sites have great collecting materials. How to get there: The Richardson's Rock ranch is featured in Location #3. The McDonald Ranch is by appointment only:
Phone: (541) 489-3290
The following link gives information on the
sites in the area:
Grade this location: A GPS Coordinates:
Handy to bring along:
5. Gloves Helpful notes to newcomers:
There are a number of sites in the area, and I have included a link for lodging and food.
Kristen's report on Oregon Petrified Wood
Location #8: Dust Devil Mine - Sunstones
(Local beach, park, etc)
General description: Dust Devil Mining operates a mine for sunstones, but is open to the public from gem hunting. Lots of good gems are found here each year, including some very spectacular finds. How to get there:North out of Plush, Oregon to the Rabbit Hills Basin. The site is near to the Spectrum mine noted above.
Grade this location: (A to F):A - you only pay for the best sunstones you find and the rest are free. GPS coordinates:
Handy to bring along:
1.Screens and digging tools.
2. All necessary water, food and other supplies
3. Helpful notes to newcomers: Many beautiful gems come from this location. For more info on Oregon sunstones, check out the following website: